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South Korea Bourse Expected To Run Out Of Steam

The South Korea stock market has climbed higher in four straight sessions, rising almost 65 points or 3 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,265-point plateau although investors are likely to cash in on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is broadly negative following a record drop in U.S. GDP, denting hopes for a quick economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets are predicted to open in the red.

The KOSPI finished slightly higher on Thursday as gains from the automobile producers were capped by weakness from the oil companies and mixed performances from the financials and chemical stocks.

For the day, the index added 3.85 points or 0.17 percent to finish at 2,267.01 after trading between 2,263.81 and 2,281.33. Volume was 703 million shares worth 13.3 trillion won. There were 427 decliners and 395 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial shed 0.32 percent, while KB Financial lost 0.69 percent, Hana Financial collected 1.35 percent, LG Electronics rose 0.19 percent, SK Hynix spiked 2.52 percent, LG Display soared 1.99 percent, LG Chem advanced 0.57 percent, Lotte Chemical dropped 0.87 percent, S-Oil fell 0.32 percent, SK Innovation plunged 2.67 percent, POSCO skidded 1.24 percent, SK Telecom jumped 1.62 percent, KEPCO sank 0.78 percent, Hyundai Motors rallied 2.00 percent, Kia Motors accelerated 2.65 percent and Samsung Electronics was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is mostly soft as stocks opened lower on Thursday and mostly stayed that way, although the NASDAQ managed to climb into the green.

The Dow shed 225.92 points or 0.85 percent to finish at 26,313.65, while the NASDAQ added 44.87 points or 0.43 percent to end at 10,587.81 and the S&P 500 lost 12.22 points or 0.38 percent to close at 3,246.22.

The early sell-off on Wall Street came following a report from the Commerce Department report showing a record contraction in U.S. economic activity in the second quarter. Consumer spending led the decrease as the coronavirus-induced lockdowns forced consumers to stay at home.

A separate report from the Labor Department showed initial jobless claims increased for the second straight week in the week ended July 25th.

Crude oil futures settled lower on Thursday as worries about energy demand outlook resurfaced after data showed a sharp contraction in U.S. GDP and an uptick in unemployment claims and amid a continued surge in coronavirus cases across the world. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended lower by $1.35 or 3.3 percent at $39.92 a barrel.

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